Kurtenbach: The Raiders’ offensive woes are (literally) larger than Carr, Gruden

first_imgThe Raiders’ 26-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday felt like a rock-bottom result.It’s hard to characterize a game where the defense was a sieve and the offense couldn’t move as anything else.And, of course, in situations like that, negative attention was immediately focused on the two most important people on a football team: the head coach and quarterback.I’m not here to say that Jon Gruden and Derek Carr don’t deserve criticism for Sunday’s loss and the Raiders’ 1-4 record — no …last_img read more

A’s pick Oakland waterfront as site of ‘futuristic’ ballpark that’ll be ready by 2023

first_imgHe said the ballpark is being … CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos and video on a mobile deviceThe Oakland A’s announced today they plan to build a futuristic ballpark on the Howard Terminal waterfront site at the Oakland estuary to replace the aging multi-purpose Oakland Coliseum and field the team by 2023.An illustration of the new ballpark shows a facility with a jewel box design, which A’s president Dave Kaval touted as “like nothing you have ever seen.”last_img read more

Joburg’s inner city property boom

first_img22 November 2004South Africa’s inner city residential market is being driven by “staggering demand” and “attractively low property prices”, according to a recent survey.And Johannesburg’s property sales, although off a low base, have been rising steadily, according to the Trafalgar Inner City Report 2004, released in October.Conducted by Trafalgar Property and Financial Services, a company that manages some 2 500 units in the city, the report aims to provide useful and practical information for investors, tackling some of the risks they might run into in these markets.“Johannesburg, perhaps more than other cities, is where an inner city turnaround has been most evident,” the report says. “Strong and consistent demand for residential space combined with a stock of properties that are cheap to purchase, offering tempting potential for capital growth, are a potent combination for investors.”The report was compiled from three sources: questionnaires from 250 tenants resident in buildings managed by Trafalgar, a forum panel discussion attended by industry specialists, and data from the city’s Deeds Office.Joburg’s residential heartJohannesburg’s residential heart is referred to as Zone 4, and consists of eight suburbs: Hillbrow, Berea, Yeoville, Lorentzville, Troyeville, Judith’s Paarl, Bertrams and Doornfontein. Around 208 000 people reside in this area, and residential properties range from freehold, to medium density to large blocks of flats.The report compares Johannesburg’s Zone 4 area to Durban’s Albert Park suburb and the suburb of Sunnyside in Pretoria, both of which are similar to Joburg’s inner city area in that they are high-rise residential areas with a similar socio-economic profile, but with smaller populations.Rentals in Joburg have experienced a 33 percent growth, slightly below Sunnyside’s 39 percent, but considerably below Durban’s 114 percent growth.Property prices in central Johannesburg have risen from an average of R28 470 in 2000 to an average of R42 339 in 2004, while 663 sectional title units have been sold in the inner city since 2000. This represents an average sale price of R417/square metre over the past five years. Sales in Durban were 2 556 units over the same period, while 3 273 units were sold in Pretoria.Andrew Schaefer, managing director of Trafalgar, says the possible reason why Joburg has lagged behind the other cities is that its residential areas “degenerated to a greater extent than the other cities,” coupled with a more virulent problem of slumlords and “flat hijackers”.The recovery therefore, is much slower, but the demand for residential space is equal to the demand in other cities.Problems“Flat hijackers” are people who move into a flat and progressively invite in more tenants, thus severely overloading the amenities of the flat. Slumlords encourage this overloading because they charge per head instead of per flat, often pocketing rent meant for municipal rates.The residential property market has been bedevilled in the last decade by slumlords, building hijackers and delays with clearance certificates (required by law before the owner can sell a property).The condition of some of the units has deteriorated: around 25 percent of Joburg’s residential buildings have been described as being in an “extremely poor”, “very poor” or “poor” state of repair.“The number of bad buildings in the inner city has almost doubled since 1999, from 120 to the current count of 235”, the report states. A “bad building” is one that has deteriorated to such an extent that the market value is below the outstanding debt owed.This has led to a drop in rates income in Zone 4 areas – between 2000 and 2004 there was a drop of 25 percent. Doornfontein in particular was hard hit, experiencing a 61 percent decrease.SolutionsThese restraints aside, the report says investors have begun to find ways around the problems, where “anecdotal evidence suggests that successful landlords can achieve yields on high-density residential blocks in Hillbrow or Berea as high as 30 to 35 percent”.While very few individual buyers can access finance, large investors have moved in and are buying blocks in these two suburbs, encouraged by the high demand for rental space. Trafalgar is now signing 110 leases a month, compared to around 80 leases a month a year ago, with rentals averaging between R1 200 to R2 500 a month.To avoid the persistent problem of defaulting tenants, the report notes “a move to stricter debt control measures, backed up by strong, day-to-day operational management”. This means that month-end rents are strictly monitored, access to the building is also strictly controlled and debt collection is swift.“Defaulting tenants can expect little mercy, and property managers don’t hesitate to start the eviction process where necessary”, the report says.Northdene: a success storyThe report cites Northdene, a complex of 26 sectional title units in Princess Place in lower Parktown, as an example of a residential block that Trafalgar has successfully turned around.When Trafalgar took over Northdene, there was no body corporate and arrears stood at R300 000. An audit was done and the complex’s financial statements were brought up to date. An annual general meeting was called and a residents’ committee was established.“Slowly but surely, residents started to pay their levies and catch up on back payments”, the report states.In exchange, the property manager fixed the electronic gates, provided secure lock-up parking, and got tough with non-paying residents. By the end of June 2004, arrears had dropped to R28 000. As a reward, Trafalgar allowed residents to convert the basement flat into a prayer room.As a result, the complex has started to turn around its sale prices – in 2002 a two-bedroomed unit sold for R50 000, while in October 2004 a three-bedroomed unit sold for R450 000.Urban development zonesThe 2002 announcement by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel of urban development zones (UDZs) as an inner city development incentive has become a reality in Joburg. Cape Town has also been granted permission to declare such zonesDesignated zones will qualify for an accelerated depreciation allowance. This means developers obtain a 20 percent depreciation on the asset over a five-year period on refurbished properties, and a new development qualifies for a 17-year incentive, with 20 percent in the first year and five percent each year thereafter.The city estimates that if developers of existing projects were to use the incentives for the next five years, they would be worth R32.4-million.The typical inner city tenantBased on their questionnaires, Trafalgar has ascertained that the typical inner city tenant is young, black, male and single, has been living in the inner city for around 18 months, and would ultimately like to move to Sandton, where they’re likely to rent.Further findings reveal that:82% feel that the inner city is a safe place to live.96% believe that their buildings are safe.17% are university educated.61% use shops, 26% use schools, and 13% use entertainment facilities in the inner city.Most tenants found their accommodation through newspaper ads or via word of mouth.75% have no private transport.23% of households earn between R5 000 and R10 000 a month and 47% earn less than R3 000.The majority prefer to pay their rent through bank deposits.The report says these figures are significant for investors, as they highlight the requirements of potential tenants – their need for affordability, the attraction of nearby shops, and the need for access to public transport to get to work.Tenants respond positivelyOne of the themes to emerge from the forum panel discussion, attended by five city heads, Brian Miller of the Property Owners and Managers Association (POMA), Trafalgar CEO Neville Schaefer, and Financial Mail property editor Ian Fife, was that tenants are responding positively to “clear symbols of governance, because they represent stability”.Says Fife: “I think the main change in the inner city is that tenants are heartily tired of badly managed, insecure or ill-kept buildings. There’s a need for a lot of education in the sectional title sector, but tenants are banding together more and more to pull the complexes together.”He said that by empowering tenants with information regarding their rights, flat hijackers would be less inclined to get access to buildings.The issue of enforcement of by-laws – raised by participants – is still a sensitive one, says Graham Reid, head of the Johannesburg Development Agency.“By-law enforcement requires a change of mindset, and security works best where the public and private sectors co-operate”, Reid says. “Johannesburg still has quite fragmented enforcement agencies which need to be consolidated.”Li Pernigger, programme manager 2030 in the city’s economic development unit, replied: “There are strategic plans in place but the operational plans have not always been pulled together. It’s often a question of whether or not there’s a champion to drive the process.”Miller indicated that POMA was busy setting up five residential improvement districts, an initiative which sees suburbs divided into blocks, where problems like cleaning, security and gardening maintenance are identified.The building owners then undertake to install CCTV, patrols and cleaning agents to uplift the block, before moving on to the adjacent block. The owners are aware that these improvements add value to their investments.The first district in the process of being set up is in Berea, where the owners have agreed to CCTV and street guards, who will also help clean the area. Final agreements with the owners will see the guards and cameras in place around March 2005.Schaefer/Fife modelThis model of turning around a badly degenerated building was developed by Neville Schaefer and Fife, an inner city investor. The model goes beyond simple debt collecting and saving “bad buildings” from total deterioration.“Our aim is to rebuild the value that has been destroyed”, says Schaefer. “Persuading owners that they have an asset worth defending and nurturing is, to us, the key to stability in inner city sectional title.”After stabilising a building, Schaefer and Fife work with the owners and occupants to come up with a plan to make it work. This involves identifying the municipal debt and arranging with individual owners or tenants to pay and catch up arrears, calculating a levy to maintain the building and getting residents’ buy-in, and upgrading the building by making it more secure, undertaking repairs and improving the parking situation.The model has been applied successfully in Pretoria and Johannesburg.The crucial element, according to Trafalgar MD Andrew Schaefer, is the involvement of the city council in each city. After all, it is the councils who lose out on unpaid rates when a building runs into the ground.But, says Schaefer, they have realised this, and “they are coming to the party”, in support of the dire need to turn the situation around.Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

Arunachal safe as China river barrier breaches again

first_imgThe Disaster Management Department in Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday marked the central part of the State safe after water from Tibet’s Yarlung Tsangpo river over-topped a landslide-induced barrier in the morning and started flowing downstream.Landslide in MilinA landslide in the Milin section of the river had created a 1.7 km barrier at 11 a.m. on October 29, temporarily blocking the flow of water towards Arunachal Pradesh. A landslide of bigger intensity in the same section on October 17 had created a 3.5 km barrier.The Yarlung Tsangpo becomes the Siang after entering India and flows through three districts of Arunachal Pradesh — Upper Siang, Siang and East Siang — before meeting two other rivers to form the Brahmaputra in Assam downstream.Water over-topping“We received information from China via the Central Water Commission that the accumulated water began over-topping the Milin section barrier at 9.30 a.m. The water reached Tuting in Upper Siang at 5.55 p.m. and is likely to reach Pasighat (on Arunachal Pradesh-Assam border) at 3 a.m. on Thursday,” said Bidol Tayeng, Arunachal Pradesh Disaster Management Department secretary.Second breach Mr. Tayeng said that the force and volume of the water were less than that on October 19 when the barrier formed on Yarlung Tsangpo 13 days ago had breached.However, the heads of the districts through which the Siang river meanders have been asked to ensure people do not venture out to the river for any purpose until the flow of water becomes normal.last_img read more

Deepak Shodhan, first Indian to hit debut Test hundred, dies aged 87

first_imgDeepak Shodhan, who was the first Indian to score a Test century in his debut innings, died at his Ahmedabad home on Monday.Shodhan, 87, was the country’s oldest surviving Test cricketer. He was suffering from lung cancer, which was detected in February this year.DREAM DEBUT Born on October 18, 1928, Shodhan made his Test debut at the age of 25 against Pakistan in 1952 at the Eden Gardens. Coming in to bat at No. 8 with India reeling at 179/6, Shodhan held on with the tail-enders and smashed a fine 110 to hand India the lead. The match ended in a draw and India won the series 2-1.Strangely, Shodhan did not play more than three Test matches. After his fine effort on debut, he was selected for the tour of West Indies and scored 45 and 11 in the first Test at Port-of-Spain. Injured for the next three Tests, Shodhan was taken ill on the first day of the final match but got up from his sick bed to score a determined 15 not out (at No.10) when India were facing certain defeat. Shodhan finished with 181 run from his three Tests.A stylist left-hand batsman and a left-arm fast bowler, Shodhan also played for Gujarat and Baroda in the Ranji Trophy and was a title-winner in 1957-58 season. In 43 first-class matches, he scored 1802 runs and took 73 wickets.last_img read more

a month agoMore Man City defensive woes as Stones out injured

first_imgMore Man City defensive woes as Stones out injuredby Ian Ferrisa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City and England defender John Stones will be out for between four and five weeks after suffering a muscle injury in training.The 25 year old suffered the injury on Tuesday as City prepared for Wednesday’s Champions League group game with Shakhtar Donetsk.”He (Stones) is out four, five or six weeks. He was injured in training this morning. It is a muscular problem,” boss Pep Guardiola said.”For me as a manager it is an incredible challenge. But I believe in something people don’t know about – spirit and commitment. We will make steps forward to solve this problem,” Guardiola added. TagsPremiership NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Photo: Ohio State Fans Spell Out O-H-I-O Using Column From Temple Of Olympian Zeus

first_imgfamily spells out O-H-I-O with arms and the Olympian Temple of Zeus.O-H-I-O TempleIt seems that Ohio State fans, wherever they are in the world, always try to find ways to take photos of themselves spelling out O-H-I-O in creative ways. A group of Buckeyes supporters who are traveling in Greece made great use of one of the country’s most historic landmarks Wednesday. An OSU fan named Robert Patton posted a photo of he and his friends using a column from the Temple of Olympian Zeus, located in Athens near the Parthenon, as the “I” in their gesture. Check it out:O-H-I-O #GoBucks #Greece #Athens pic.twitter.com/WBTWVT3Vbi— pattonroberta (@pattonroberta) June 10, 2015Do you think that this now means the country of Greece doesn’t give a damn for the whole state of Michigan?last_img read more

The Odds Of Winning The Indianapolis Colts Weather Challenge

Football season is nearly here, which for many of us means that weekend productivity is about to hit an annual low. Every so often teams will put on contests for tickets or merchandise, but one NFL team is engaging fans in a different way this year. The Indianapolis Colts are offering half a million dollars to whoever can accurately predict the outdoor kickoff temperature for the team’s 20 games, from the preseason through the end of the regular season.Entries are due Thursday at 12:01 p.m. EDT. On top of submitting temperatures, you also need to correctly predict whether the roof of Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis will be open for each home game. And if one of the Colts’ late-season Sunday games is “flexed” to a different time slot, the forecasted temperature you submit needs to reflect that changed kickoff time. Get a single temperature or roof position wrong, and you’re eliminated from contention.My initial reaction to this contest was similar to Carl Reiner’s character’s expression of overwhelming doubt about a plan to rob a casino in “Ocean’s Eleven.” The best public example of a foray into long-range weather forecasting has been done by AccuWeather, which provides 45-day forecasts. However, according to more than one accuracy test, these forecasts have struggled and certainly wouldn’t win AccuWeather $500,000 from the Colts.So is it even possible for anyone to do this perfectly? And if so, just how lucky would that person have to be?One of the best ways to forecast weather far into the future is to use climatology as a guide. Unfortunately, in a contest where you need to be perfect, not just close, climatology can only help so much. But you can at least narrow down the possibilities. Using the weather data archive on Weather Underground, as well as from the Midwest Regional Climate Center, I collected the temperatures at kickoff time from 1984 to 2013 for the dates and sites of the 20 Colts games this season.1The stadiums and the nearest weather observation stations are below:Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis) – Indianapolis International AirportMetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, New Jersey) – Newark Liberty AirportPaul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati) – Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International AirportMile High Stadium (Denver) – Buckley Air Force Base (Aurora, Colorado) for 1984-1995 and Denver International Airport for 1996-2013EverBank Field (Jacksonville, Florida) – Jacksonville International AirportNRG Stadium (Houston) – Hobby AirportHeinz Field (Pittsburgh) – Pittsburgh International AirportFirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland) – Cleveland Hopkins AirportAT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas) – Dallas/Fort Worth International AirportLP Field (Nashville, Tennessee) – Nashville International Airport Let’s start by addressing temperatures: How much volatility and variability are we dealing with?We can look at each week to see what the spread in observed temperatures has been since 1984. Then, assuming we want to avoid forecasting extreme temperatures as a way to improve our odds, we can also look at the 25th, 50th (or median) and 75th percentiles to narrow down our choices to a more realistic range:A few things stand out: Both the ranges and the boxes tend to get larger as you go deeper into the football season. Temperatures in the summer tend to be a bit more stable than in the fall and winter. Because the jet stream has retreated far enough north in the warm season, you have fewer cold fronts to contend with, and there’s more moisture in the atmosphere. All of this can generally reduce the range of temperatures in the summertime. As the season progresses, the spread in observed temperatures expands. The games on Sept. 21 in Jacksonville, Florida, and Oct. 9 in Houston are the most notable exceptions. Thanks to their southern latitude, those cities still tend to be in a summer-type pattern in early fall, keeping local temperatures a little more stable.Dallas, the site of the Dec. 21 game, has the most volatility at kickoff time of any place where the Colts will play this season. The High Plains tend to see some incredible temperature swings in the fall and winter.So what are the odds of a perfect temperature forecast? The best approach is to guess that this year’s temperature will match the historical average from our 30-year sample. By looking at the standard deviation in the historical sample, we can estimate how likely this year’s temperature is to exactly match the historical average, rounded to the nearest whole number.Getting even one day’s temperature exactly right is quite challenging. Even for the Sept. 21 game in Jacksonville, Florida, which historically has a relatively narrow temperature range, your chances are only about 10 percent. And for the Dec. 21 game in Dallas, which has volatile temperatures that time of year, the chances are just 3 percent. And, of course, it’s even more difficult to get the kickoff temperatures right for all 20 games. The chances are just 1 in 248 septillion.2An alternative method is to narrow things down to the most common outcomes, between the 25th and 75th percentiles of temperatures for our dates, and assume that the temperature will fall at some random integer between those numbers half of the time (the other half of the time, by definition, it will fall outside the 25th to 75th percentile range). This yields an almost identical estimate: one chance in 261 septillion of getting all 20 temperatures right.)By comparison, you have a much greater chance — 1 in 9.2 quintillion — of predicting a perfect bracket for the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and that’s before you improve your odds with the statistics and knowledge of each matchup.Oh, wait. You also have to forecast the Lucas Oil Stadium roof position for each Colts home game. The basic rules are that the roof is closed when precipitation is in the area, wind gusts exceed 40 mph, or the temperature drops below 40 degrees.3To calculate the odds of whether the roof would be closed, I looked at the weather data going back to 1984 to see whether it was raining or snowing in the two to three hours before kickoff, and the three to four hours after kickoff. I also looked at the historical temperatures and reviewed whether the roof — had it existed all these years — would have been closed that day. I then calculated the percentage of times the roof would have been closed over the 30 years. This, of course, is all subject to weather forecasts and a human element. In other words, even if the forecast is wrong, it may be enough to justify keeping the roof closed.And if you haven’t had enough by now, let’s answer this question about flex scheduling. Is it worth it to even bother trying to figure that out? The NFL can “flex” a Sunday game into a different time slot, starting at week five.Since the Dallas Cowboys have already punched their playoff ticket, let’s look at both flexing scenarios for their game with the Colts on Dec. 21. While it’s unlikely the 3:25 p.m. start time will be flexed to 12:00 p.m., the chart at left shows the possibilities.Because the variation in temperature is so small, it probably doesn’t benefit you much to worry about the flex scheduling aspect. At best, you’ll improve your odds a minute fraction.Given the immense number of options that exist in this contest, Colts fans will need more than Andrew Luck on their side if they wish to win. Warren Buffett’s billion-dollar NCAA bracket challenge looks easy by comparison, and offers a much better payoff!My entry in the Colts’ Half A Million Dollar Weather Challenge is below:4The entry I submitted to the contest is different from the one presented here. In this one, I made a few minor tweaks based on better data, but unfortunately I was limited to one entry so I couldn’t resubmit this. read more

Ohio State mens hockey to take on No 1 Minnesota in final

Freshman defender Drew Brevig (4) controls the puck during a game against Michigan March 2 at Nationwide Arena. OSU lost, 4-3.Credit: Ben Jackson / For The LanternAfter four years filled with countless achievements and even more memories, four members of the Ohio State men’s hockey team are preparing for their final home games in the Scarlet and Gray.The Buckeyes (15-11-4, 5-7-4) are set to recognize seniors Alex Szczechura, Travis Statchuk, Alex Lippincott and Curtis Gedig this weekend as they welcome No. 1 Minnesota (23-4-5, 12-2-2) to Columbus.Szczechura, the team’s fifth-highest scorer, sustained an injury last Sunday against Michigan and won’t get to play in this final home stand OSU coach Steve Rohlik said.“(It’s) disappointing,” Rohlik said. “He’s certainly put the time and the effort in here and he deserves to be out there … he’ll be with us out there, he’ll be out there on the ice to get recognized but certainly we’ll miss him out there on the ice.”Rohlik said he’s seeking the right balance of emotion and focus from his players for this important series.“I think the team wants to play well for (the seniors),” Rohlik said. “It’s my job not only to: one, make sure our team recognizes what (the seniors) mean to this program but two, to keep things in check … and control our emotions and go out there in the right frame of mind.”The quartet of seniors is set to be recognized in a ceremony before Saturday’s game, but Statchuk said the reality of his OSU career ending wouldn’t hit him until much later.“It hasn’t really sunk in yet. Once the season ends and you’re cleaning out your stall as a senior, I think that’s when it’s really going to settle in,” Statchuk said. “I’ll probably (be) a little emotional, that’s for sure.”The Buckeyes gained two points last weekend in their home-and-home series with Michigan, and currently sit five points behind the Wolverines in fourth place in the Big Ten. Meanwhile the Gophers continued their strong campaign with a sweep of Penn State, and are now seven points clear of second-place Wisconsin.Facing the nation’s No. 1 team while trying to climb in the standings might not be an ideal situation, but Rohlik said his team is eager to test themselves, no matter who the opponent is.“If you want to get to the national tournament, you’ve got to beat the best teams no matter who they are,” Rohlik said. “It’s a great challenge for our guys and I think they’re looking forward (to) it.”When the Buckeyes and Gophers met earlier in the season in Minneapolis, OSU proved themselves to be worthy opponents. In the first game, Minnesota’s sophomore goalie Adam Wilcox kept his second shutout of the season as his team won 1-0. OSU had a two-goal lead in the second game before junior forward Sam Warning netted a hat-trick as the home team ran out 4-2 winners.Since that second game against the Gophers, the Buckeyes are 4-3-3, and Statchuk said this weekend is a great chance for the team to show its credentials with only four games left in the season.“We’re excited to get out there and show the rest of the league and the country that we deserve to be where we want to be,” Statchuk said. “Obviously we have beat the No. 1-ranked team to get there but that’s a challenge we’re willing to accept.”Friday’s game is set for 7:30 p.m., and the puck is set to drop at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. read more

Madrid keen on snapping up Diaz

first_imgReal Madrid are keen on completing a deal to sign Brahim Diaz from Manchester City, according to Sky Sports News.Diaz, 19, is due in Madrid over the next 24 hours to wrap up a move with the European Champions after turning down Man City’s offer.The young Spaniard joined the Premier League champions in 2015 from Malaga for an initial £200,000, but he has found his first-team opportunities limited under Pep Guardiola.Guardiola was adamant last month that City would “do absolutely everything” to keep Diaz, but both parties have since failed to make a breakthrough in contract negotiations.Diaz’s current deal is due to expire at the end of the season, so City have made the decision to cash in now.Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.With the likes of Sancho enjoying a successful stint at Dortmund, many pundits are predicting a bright future for Diaz in Spain.Brahim Diaz is set to sign for Real Madrid 🇪🇸⚽️ pic.twitter.com/sPRX3FkOuc— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) January 4, 2019last_img read more